Friday, 13 December 2019

Flights to Croatia: AirBaltic to Rijeka and Dubrovnik, 11 New Ryanair Routes from Zadar

December 13, 2019 -The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Rijeka, Dubrovnik, and Zadar. 

HRTurizam reports that Dubrovnik and Rijeka will be directly connected to Vilnius, Lithuania's capital, in the coming year thanks to AirBaltic.

These flights will be active from the beginning of May until the end of October, i.e., the line for Rijeka will operate once a week on Thursdays, while the line for Dubrovnik will operate twice a week, on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Martin Gauss, CEO of AirBaltic, said they aim to provide the best connection in both directions for all three Baltic capitals. “When assessing which destinations will depart from the Baltic capitals, we first look for the most sought after among local travelers. This is why we provide additional input to local airports, offering new travel options. By next summer, we will already serve 16 destinations from Estonia, 11 from Lithuania and over 70 destinations from Latvia."

"This is great news and an announcement that supports further increasing the number of airlines and further enhancing the accessibility of Croatian destinations. The first flight will feature a large number of travel agents and journalists from the Baltics and Scandinavia to whom we will present Rijeka, Dubrovnik and Split,” said Croatian Tourist Board Director Kristjan Stanicic, adding that the new Airbus A220-300 fleet will operate on these routes. 

HTZ added that the AirBaltic presentation brought together more than 100 agents and partners, including Kresimir Kedmenec, Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Lithuania, and Vedran Susic, Director of the HTZ Representative Office for Scandinavia, who organized a special presentation of the Croatian tourist agency deals with a focus on Rijeka and Dubrovnik.

In other flight news, Avio Radar reports that Europe’s largest carrier Ryanair announced a new base and 11 new routes from Zadar for the 2020 season. Namely, there are a total of 31 lines in the 2020 summer flight schedule, including 11 new routes to exciting destinations such as Aarhus, Cork, and Riga. The flight schedule begins in April 2020, is estimated to carry a total of 672,000 passengers annually, and create around 500 jobs in the various activities and services provided at Zadar Airport. 

Ryanair is also opening a base with three Laudamotion aircraft in Zadar, representing an investment of about $300 million and directly creating 90 new jobs in Ryanair. 

Ryanair’s 2020 summer flight schedule in Zadar brings:

- 3 Laudamotion base planes ($300 million investment)

- 11 new lines for Aarhus. (2), Bremen (3), Cork (2), Paris Beauvais (2), Kaunas (2), Liverpool (2), Maastricht (2), Riga (2), Toulouse (2), & Wroclaw (2)

- 31 lines in total

- 672,000 passengers annually (+50%)

- 90 new Ryanair jobs

- 500 on-site jobs

Eddie Wilson, CEO of Ryanair said: 

“We are delighted to be opening our base in Zadar next summer as part of our efforts to contribute to the growth of transport, tourism, and jobs. Our 2020 flight schedule brings 31 lines, including 11 new lines, and we plan to carry a total of 672,000 passengers a year and generate 500 jobs in various industries in Zadar. Zadar and their guests can now buy the cheapest tickets and fly with the greenest/cleanest European airline on a total of 31 flights until the end of October 2020.”

Josip Klismanic, director of Zadar Airport added:

“The return of Ryanair’s base to Zadar with three aircraft is a great tribute to Zadar, both as an airport and as a destination. The growth of Ryanair’s offer to Zadar from all over Europe in recent years shows that Zadar and Croatia have something to offer our guests. Ryanair makes Zadar and Croatia much more accessible to Europe, but let’s not forget, it also makes Europe much closer to Zadar and Croatia. The announcements for 2020 justify our efforts to increase the level of service for our passengers by expanding the capacity of Zadar Airport and providing the preconditions for further growth. I do not doubt that Ryanair will play an essential role in that. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Zadar Airport to be Among Most Beautiful in Croatia: Preliminary Design of Split Architect Revealed

December 11,  2019 - Zadar Airport and the Zadar Society of Architects have organized an exhibition of the offers for the preliminary architectural and urban design of the Zadar Airport passenger terminal. 

Dalmacija Danas reports that the winning conceptual design of the Zadar Airport passenger terminal was presented to the Zadar public on Monday. Ten ideas were submitted to the competition conducted by the Zadar Society of Architects in Zadar, and finally the work of a team led by Split architect Ante Kuzmanić was selected.

This solution, which can be viewed at the Museum of Ancient Glass, allows construction in phases that will not interfere with the operation of the airport - which was one of the main conditions. The value of the project is around 500 million kuna, and works in the first phase could start in a year. As it was heard at the grand opening of the exhibition, Zadar should get one of the most beautiful airports in Croatia.

“I am extremely pleased, the first-class work is such that it allows for many years of development, provides us with the modularity of the building at any time as a whole and that after its full construction, it also allows for further expansion while retaining a unique construction,” said Josip Klišmanić, director of Zadar Airport.

“The virtue of this work is that it is somehow homey, because its giant waiting rooms almost look like living rooms; there are light pillars in which bamboo, trees, and lavender grow… which also contributes to the feeling that you are not in a barrack or container of some kind,  but that you are in a living room,” said jury member Goran Rako.

“What inspired us most was the pine forest through which we access the harbor and the landscape of Ravni kotari. We felt that there should be no steps that would corrupt that landscape. In this way, we practically retracted the nature with this roof, in some way, with this detail of the pillar, and at the same time maintained the relationship with the glass membrane towards nature," said Ante Kuzmanić, who with his team, offered the best solution for renovating the passenger terminal of Zadar Airport.

The organizer of this competition was the Zadar Society of Architects.

“This is certainly one of the most challenging projects we have worked on, because when we look at the types of content we can design for the airport, with the fact that we are becoming a Schengen border, there are so many conditions that you have to satisfy, there are so many roads that intersect, that's why teams of people worked on this,” said the president of the Society, architect Petar Kozina.

You can see the designs below.




To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 9 December 2019

Flights to Croatia: Ryanair Stops Stockholm to Rijeka, Zagreb New Codeshare on Kenya Airways

December 9, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Pula, and Zagreb.

Avio Radar reports that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair announced that it would terminate its base at Skavsta Airport near Stockholm, Sweden, and this year’s new base in Nuremberg, Germany. The airline stated the reason being that they would not be taking over the 20 Boeing 737MAX aircraft as planned for the summer next year. 

In the Croatian market, this means discontinuing the Stockholm-Rijeka route, which was the strongest Ryanair route to Rijeka. Namely, this route operated to Rijeka in the summer from early April to late October and is already not on sale for next year. 

“We also expect to cut summer capacity in a number of other existing bases, and we are currently in discussions with our people, our unions, and our affected airports to finalize these minor reductions”, Ryanair said in a statement on Ex Yu Aviation News

Interestingly, the airline recently announced that it would boost operations on the Stockholm-Zadar route from two to three times per week, and tickets for this line are still on offer for next year. Furthermore, tickets for the Nuremberg-Zadar route are also still on offer, although the Nuremberg base has plans to close. The airline updated customers with the news that this line would continue with operations, unlike the others. 

Avio Radar adds that British low-cost carrier Jet2 will increase traffic to Dubrovnik in their 2020 summer flight schedule. On the London (Stansted Airport)-Dubrovnik route, the sixth flight per week has been introduced, on Mondays, which means that Jet2 will fly this route every day except Wednesdays. The line will begin operations on April 2, 2020. 

Still, Jet2 has decreased operations from London to Pula and Split. The London (Stansted)-Pula route will run only once a week, on Sundays, from May 31 to September 20, 2020. The London (Stansted)-Split route will run twice a week instead of last year’s three, on Thursdays and Sundays. Namely, this line will no longer work on Wednesdays. A Boeing 737-800 aircraft should service all lines. 

Jet2 also introduced a new line between Stansted and Zadar next year. 

Finally, Avio Radar reports that Kenya Airways expanded its codeshare cooperation with French national carrier Air France. Both Airlines are members of the Skyteam global airline association. Zagreb is among the other new codeshare destinations for Kenya Airways. The extended collaboration began on November 26, 2019. Air France’s daily flights on the Paris route (Charles de Gaulle) to Zagreb will carry the Kenyan KQ3834, along with the French carrier’s symbol. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 8 November 2019

Flights to Croatia: Swiss Ends Summer Zagreb Service, JetTime and TUI Launch New Lines to Split

November 8, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Zagreb, Split, Pula, and Zadar. 

Ex Yu Aviation announced that Swiss International Air Lines would stop its seasonal summer service to Zagreb. 

“Swiss regularly reviews its route network for possible adjustments and its further development, to ensure that its aircraft fleet is deployed on it as effectively as possible. The prime considerations in these activities include current demand, the development potential offered by individual routes and the competitive landscape. As part of these ongoing endeavors to optimize our route network as a whole, we have decided to cease service to Sarajevo and Zagreb as of the 2020 summer schedule,” the airline said in a statement to Ex Yu Aviation. 

Recall, Swiss flew to Zagreb three times per week over the summer.

This doesn’t mean that Swiss is leaving the Croatian market, however. The airline will resume its weekly flight between Geneva and Pula from June 20 next year. Swiss will also codeshare Croatia Airlines’ services between Zagreb and Zurich, which runs twice a week. 

Avio Radar reports that TUIfly Nordic will run a new trip from Sweden to Split in their 2020 summer flight schedule. Namely, the Norrkoping-Split route will operate on Fridays every other week from May 15 to October 9. 

The Danish airline JetTime has flown on this line for the past year with a smaller Boeing 737-700 aircraft. TUI will service this line with its own Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

They also announced two other new routes - Gotheburg-Split, which will run once a week on Fridays, and Stockholm (Arlanda)-Pula, which will run once a week on Saturdays. 

Avio Radar also reports that Danish airline JetTime will service TUI Sverige on new routes from Scandinavia to Pula and Split. Namely, it will fly between Gothenburg-Pula and Copenhagen-Pula once a week, on Fridays, with the larger Boeing 737-700 aircraft instead of the smaller British Aerospace Avroliner ARJ-100, operated by Swedish regional carrier Braathens Regional Airlines this year. 

Furthermore, the new line Orebro-Split, will run every other Wednesday from May 27 to October 8, 2020. The line is being introduced instead of the Norrkoping-Split line that TUI has taken over with its new aircraft. The Helsinki-Split, Copenhagen-Split and Vaxjo-Split lines will continue to operate the same as they did this year. 

Avio Radar adds that Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair will boost two flights to Zadar in the 2020 flight schedule. The Prague-Zadar line, which started operating only this year with two flights per week on Mondays and Fridays, will run three times a week in 2020 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. 

The second reinforced line is the Stockholm (Skavsta)-Zadar route, which also introduced a third-weekly trip. Starting March 31, 2020, this line will run on Tuesdays, Thursdays,  and Saturdays on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft. 

On the other hand, Ryanair announced the closure of its base in Hamburg a month ago. This means that the Hamburg-Zadar route,  which began operations this year with two flights per week, will not be on offer next year. 

To end this week of flight news, Ex Yu Aviation reported that easyJet and Pula Airport concluded a five-year agreement at the World Travel Market in London, which will further strengthen their cooperation and grow operations at the airport, with a focus on the UK market. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Zadar Among Top Five Busiest Small Airports in Europe

August 15, 2019 - European industry trade association 'ACI Europe' released the statistical reports for June and the first six months of this year on Wednesday, which revealed even more exciting news for the already record-breaking Zadar Airport.

Namely, Avio Radar reports that in 2019, Zadar Airport was named among the five busiest airports in Europe in ‘Group 4’, or small regional airports with a turnover of up for 5 million passengers. 

In Group 4, from the beginning of the year to June 30, 2019, Zadar Airport reported the second-highest growth in Europe, with an excellent 37.6% growth compared to the same period last year. Ohrid Airport recorded the highest growth in the same period with 62.9%. 

When looking at the numbers for June 2019 within Group 4, Zadar Airport was ranked fourth with 41.8% growth compared to the same month last year. 

Recall, in July alone, Zadar Airport transported 145,362 passengers, which is up 27.1% compared to last year and an absolute record for passenger numbers at this airport. 

From January to July 31, 2019, 441,000 passengers were served at Zadar Airport, which is up 34% compared to last year. The trend is expected to continue until the end of the year, when more than 750,000 travelers should come through Zadar Airport, which would be a 25% increase in traffic compared to 604,000 in 2018. 

Furthermore, if we look at the countries in Europe, therefore, traffic in all airports of a single country in the first half of the year, Croatia comes in second place with a 10.5% increase in traffic. In first is Austria with 20%, and in third is Estonia with the same growth as Croatia - 10.5%. 

ACI Europe is a European organization bringing together 500 airports from 45 European countries. Its members represent 90% of Europe’s commercial air transport with one 2.3 billion passengers, 21.2 million tonnes of goods and 25.7 million airline operations. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Split Airport Records Busiest Month on Record, Zagreb Airport Drops

A look at the two busiest airports in Croatia this summer - Split and Zagreb.

At the end of last month, TCN reported that Zagreb Airport should see a 5% increase in passengers this year. 

"Since the start of the concession, at the end of 2013, until today, Zagreb Airport has recorded a 45% increase in passenger numbers. Growth is continuing this year as well in line with our plans and expectations,” the airport said.

However, July was expected to be a bit slower than last year thanks to the absence of the World Cup. 

Namely, Ex Yu Aviation reports that Zagreb Airport handled 366,242 passengers in July, which is a 3.4% drop compared to 2018, while the number of aircraft movements was down 2.4%. However, from January to July this year, Zagreb Airport welcomed 1,900,347 travelers, which is up 2.7% or an additional 49,411 passengers. 

Zagreb Airport anticipates an even higher increase in passengers in the first six months of 2020 when Croatia takes on the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

Split Airport, on the other hand, is experiencing record numbers this summer. Just after it unveiled its brand new terminal building, Split Airport recorded the busiest month ever - 723,048 passengers in July,  which is up 4%! Split is not far off from Zagreb when it comes to the number of travelers in the first seven months of this year, either. Namely, from January to July, Split handled 1,825,166 travelers, which is up 6.4% or an additional 109,029 passengers compared to last year. 

But Zadar Airport is also experiencing a record year. Avio Radar reports that in July alone, the airport transported 145,362 passengers, which is up 27.1% compared to last year. This is an absolute record for passenger numbers at this airport. 

From January to July 31, 2019, 441,000 passengers were served at Zadar Airport, which is up 34% compared to last year. The trend is expected to continue until the end of the year, when more than 750,000 travelers should come through Zadar Airport, which would be a 25% increase in traffic compared to 604,000 in 2018. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Flights to Croatia: Iberia Express Now Connecting Zadar Airport and Madrid

Zadar Airport recorded their strongest month yet in June this year, which is also reflected in the results for the first half of the year, when almost 300,000 passengers, or an increase of 38 percent, traveled through Zadar Airport compared to the same period last year, reports and on July 3, 2019.

In June alone, Zadar Airport recorded flights by 746 aircraft, which is about 170 more than in May this year, and based on the announcements for the summer flight schedule, these positive trends are expected to continue in the other summer months.

The most significant contribution to Zadar’s growth is Ryanair, which has cooperated with Zadar Airport for the last 12 years and has introduced a record summer flight schedule with new destinations such as Berlin, Cologne, Dublin and others. In addition to these cities, other carriers will connect Zadar this summer with Hamburg, Nuremberg, Prague, Belgrade-London, Krakow, Poznan, Milan and Eindhoven, which are all new destinations this year.

Zadar Airport is also developing cooperation with other low-cost air carriers, including Eurowings, easyJet, and Iberia Express, which, as part of the Iberia Group, will link Zadar with Madrid twice a week until the end of August.

About 100 passengers were on the Iberia Express inaugural flight from Madrid to Zadar on Tuesday, and flights are expected to be close to full capacity until the end of the season.

"With the introduction of Zadar as a new destination, Iberia Express begins operations on the Croatian market," said Zadar Airport, repeating that this year, they expect a total of 700,000 passengers or 100,000 more than in 2018.

For the fifth year in a row, Iberia Express has been declared the world's best low-cost airline by the FlightGlobal consulting agency.

Iberia Express will fly on this route twice a week, on Tuesdays and Saturdays until August 31st. The departure from Zadar is at 21:35, and arrival to Madrid is 20 minutes after midnight. The return flight from Madrid takes off at 18:20 and arrives in Zadar at 20:55.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Zadar Airport Celebrates 50 Years!

Although aviation in Zadar has far older roots that date back to the beginning of the 20th century, on April 19, 1969, exactly 50 years ago, the newly built Zadar Airport officially opened, reports AvioRadar on April 19, 2019. 

The opening was attended by several thousand Zadar citizens and inhabitants of Zadar County, as well as many prominent guests from the political and public life of Zadar and the state. 

“After the Adriatic Highway, the ferry connection with Italy, and the railway, we have an airport as the crown of everything. And this is a world-class airport, one of the most functional airports in the country with two tracks for takeoffs and landings regardless of the direction and strength of the wind,” the media wrote then.

Otherwise, the company “Zadar Airport” was established exactly two years earlier, on April 19, 1967, by the Resolution on Foundation adopted by the then Municipal Assembly of Zadar. The first director was Drago Strenja. 

During its first season, there were 15,508 passengers. One year later, there was a growth of 206%, and after 1972, passenger traffic was over 100,000, which was maintained until 1990. The airport’s record was 146,129 passengers in 1976, which was broken in 2008 thanks to the arrival of low-cost carrier Ryanair. 

In the 1990s, heavy days hit Croatia and also Zadar Airport, which was destroyed, robbed, and devastated. Operation Maslenica in 1993 freed the airport and restorations began slowly after by the then employees. 

Thanks to the arrival of low-cost carriers, primarily Ryanair, Zadar Airport has increased traffic tenfold. In 2018, 604,000 passengers traveled through the airport, which is four times more than the best period before the war, and 40 times more than the first season in 1969. With 700,000 passengers and a record number of airline operators and flights, 2019 will be the busiest in history. 

As one of the most important infrastructural facilities, Zadar Airport is an essential factor in connecting Northern Dalmatia and Lika with other parts of Croatia and the world. For half a century, it has contributed to the development of tourism and the general economy of the Zadar County, and continuously, year after year, achieves better results. With its location, above-average daily flights, traffic connections to the A1 and Port Gaženica, and proximity to the city centre (10 km), Zadar Airport has become an inevitable departure and arrival point of numerous guests from all over Europe and the world who have recognized Zadar and Zadar County as an attractive tourist destination. 

“Being part of the first 50 years is an extraordinary honor. The achievements of Zadar Airport are enchanting, the accomplishments of the people of Zadar Airport during the first 50 years are precious to every admiration, especially considering that today's Zadar Airport was literally raised from the ashes after the Homeland War.

On April 19, 1969, it was opened as the then Aerodrome Zadar. And in the first year, in 1969, a modest 15,508 passengers passed through the airport - and we finished last year with 604,039 passengers. Expectations for this year are over 750,000 passengers. That is the best way to continue the effort of all employees, both former and present, and participate in the creation of a better and richer Zadar and Croatia. We will continue to do so. Investments in the operational area of the airport and the plans to expand the passenger terminal building will provide an opportunity for the long-term growth of traffic that will stimulate further economic growth of Zadar. I believe in the future, I believe in success,” concluded Josip Klišmanić, Zadar Airport director. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Zadar Airport Announces 70 Million Euro Expansion for Long Haul Flights

March 10, 2019 - At Zadar airport on March 7, 2019, in the presence of Croatia’s prime minister Andrej Plenković, an agreement was signed between the Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure and the Zadar airport, which regulates financing the project to overhaul the airport facilities. Namely, Zadar airport will extend the runway by 700 meters, and expand the terminal building and apron so they could handle long haul flights, reports AvioRadar and Ex Yu Aviation

“This is a strategic project worth more than 500 million kuna (70 million euro),” said the Minister of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, adding that this agreement resolves the legal property relations so that it could extend the runway by 700 meters. The Croatian government will also assist in financing the project.

“When the project documentation is complete, the project will also be submitted for EU funds,” Butković added. 

Josip Klišmanić, the general manager of Zadar airport, said that the necessary project documentation would be obtained this year to ensure works begin as quickly as possible, though there is no deadline for the project’s completion as of yet. 

Defense Minister Damir Krstičević even said that the Croatian Army, using the expanded USS and operational areas, will gain new capabilities and fully support this project. 

Recall, Zadar has planned to handle long haul flights for years, as they specifically hoped to welcomed flights from China. The airport, however, gave up hope two years ago. 

In other news, Zadar airport welcomed 603,819 passengers in 2018 and will celebrate 50 years in 2019. The airport also hopes to welcome an additional 100,000 passengers this year. 

In 2019, Ryanair will introduce eight new routes, EasyJet will launch two, and Iberia Express, Air Serbia, Transavia, Laudamotion and Condor will begin seasonal flights to Zadar this summer. Thus, 16 airlines will operate 51 flights to 31 destinations in Europe from Zadar, adds Ex Yu Aviation

Zadar airport now follows the footsteps of Zagreb, Dubrovnik and Split in carrying out a significant airport overhaul. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Flights to Croatia: Laudamotion Adds Winter Line to Split, Aigle Azur to Zadar

March 6, 2019 - The latest news from around Croatia’s airports for new flights to Croatia with updates from Split and Zadar. 

Austrian low-cost airline Laudamotion will now fly to Split throughout the year! Namely, in addition to the new Split-Stuttgart line which will begin traffic on March 31 this year, the airline has also announced a new winter flight, set launch for the 2019/2020 season. Laudamotion will thus operate between Split in Stuttgart this winter from October 27, 2019, to March 28, 2020, reports AvioRadar

In the summer, Split and Stuttgart will be connected three times a week, on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays. In the winter, Laudamotion will continue operating three times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. All Laudamotion tickets are sold via Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair.

 It is also interesting to note that the competing low-cost carrier German Wings operates between Split and Stuttgart in the winter. 

AvioRadar also reports that Aigle Azur will be a new name among carriers to Zadar this year. Namely, the French airline will operate on the new Lyon-Zadar charter line. The route will run once a week in August, from August 4 to September 1, 2019, and will work in the evenings on Saturdays. 

The French regional air carrier HOP! has already flown this charter line for two years with the Canadair CRJ-1000. Thus, the announcement of Aigle Azur means that the capacity has increased on this route. 

Aigle Azur is little-known to Croatian airports. In the early years, the airline was used mainly for charter flights between France and Dubrovnik. The company was founded as Société Aigle Azur Transports Aériens as the first private airline after World War II in France, in 1946. 

At present, Aigle Azur has nine Airbus 320 aircraft and two Airbus 330-200 aircraft for intercontinental lines. The majority owner is the Chinese HNA group, which is the owner of Hainan Airlines. 

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Page 5 of 7